Former Debian Project Leader Martin Michlmayr is completing his doctoral thesis at the Centre for Technology Management, University of Cambridge. His thesis is based on case studies of major free and open source software (FOSS) project, including Debian.
Read about it here
According to Michlmayr, a move to time-based releases benefits everyone involved. For large organizations using the software produced by the project, time-based releases provide the predictability they need for their own business and infrastructure planning. Similarly, commercial distributors can plan their marketing, while individual users can have increased confidence in the project.
However, the largest benefits of time-based releases are for the project's own development community. Over time, Michlmayr sees regular releases as increasing the discipline in the community, allowing its members to coordinate their efforts more efficiently. Regular releases also allow better planning in both the short and the long term. In addition, as part of the cycle, user feedback becomes more timely and can be incorporated into planning with less effort